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Have Yourself a Crafty New Year!
By Roberta Kittrell

On a pre-holiday Saturday, I found the world of crafts at my church where I was an avid student of "Feathering Your Nest for the Holidays."

After that morning, filled with an abundance of craft knowledge, fellowship and good food, I left with many ideas and plans to preserve memories. This "old-timer", who is always open to the Lord for something new, had not previously seen beyond scrap booking to preserving memories. Wow! I finally knew what to do with all my "stuff." But God wasn’t finished with me yet. Late that afternoon, Sam, my dear friend and brother-in-Christ, phoned to see if I was up to "going Greek." That was Sam's way of informing me that it was once again Greek Festival time in Tampa Bay, which is home to a large Greek population. The Greek Orthodox Church in Tampa hosts the festival annually.

Sam explained we would not be able to go on Sunday afternoon as we usually did. So, that same Saturday evening we "went Greek!" This turned out to be a wondrous conclusion to my crafty day. One of the festival booths featured items made by the members. By the time we left, my mind was joyously nearing craft overload.

I believe God used that entire day to get through to this child of His. No longer do I look at items that have become mine through the years as burdens or "stuff". I have inherited many items from loved ones, which I now view as the Lord's Treasures in Process.

So many former dust catchers and never-to-be used items that occupy space are now centerpieces in the rough. Others, with little effort and minimal expenditure, can become gift items to sell or to give to loved
ones.

Finally, I was open to an observation, which I believe God had been trying to get through to me. Until that day of a new lesson learned, I had previously considered items I purchased as "good buys" – and only that. Or gifts I really had no use for, but treasured just the same, I had kept packed away in a closet or out gathering dust. But now, I could make memories, each unique in its own way – a centerpiece, gifts in a jar, and more.   The timing was perfect for the Lord to guide me in preparing items in time to sell at my community’s annual Christmas flea market, as well as to make precious keepsakes for other loved ones. I believe God placed in my mind that which would make each craft unique.

Proverbs 3:5-6 are some of my favorite verses:  "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." (NKJV)

This year I intend to look at "stuff" in a different way. I’ve learned to view items as "in process" or "in the raw." I intend to have a Crafty New Year in 2005, and I wish you a Crafty New Year, too.

Craft Project: Personalized Pocket Calendars
  1. We all receive them, the purse- or pocket-size calendars that are convenient and inexpensive. But they might not have a picture on it that appeals to us.

  2. Print a picture on quality paper, of take one of your own favorite photos and replace the one you don’t like.

  3. Add your favorite Scripture verse, typed in fancy font, and put it inside the front cover of the calendar.

  4. Consider making personalized pocket calendars for friends and family with their favorite photos, hobbies, etc., and don’t forget a meaningful bible verse.

For more craft ideas, visit Make Stuff (http://www.make-stuff.com/projects/index.html)

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:19-21 NKJV)

O Lord, thank you for opening my eyes that I might see how I can have more to give back to You!  May my reward be, in addition to being with You face-to-face, a sea of souls brought into your Kingdom through lowly me. In Your Precious Name, Amen
Roberta J. Kittrell a.k.a. "Miss Bobbi" is a widowed grandmother and a great-grandmother of five. Not saved until age 30, she believes God used the next 38 years to grow her in Him – including over 12 years as a volunteer chaplain in jails and 30 years as a caregiver. Miss Bobbi has always believed with John the Baptist who, speaking about Jesus Christ, said "He (Christ) must increase, but I must decrease." (John 3:30, NKJV). Her greatest joy and heart's desire is to share Jesus Christ with the lost, to be used by Him in His saving them, and to nurture and guide those who are young in the faith.

LIFE LESSONS FROM 2004:
With confronting my teenage daughters I have learned to think before I speak. I have said things that I shouldn’t have and apologies have had to be made. That has gotten better. My daughters will one day be moving on with their lives and I will not always be able to tell them what to do. I have learned to give them their space and not pry into most of their affairs; I am still working on that. (Susan Coltrane-Dunn)

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